Progestogen-only pill

About the progestogen-only pill

The progestogen-only pill (‘mini pill’) only contains one type of hormone.  It is taken every day, without any breaks, and is more than 99% effective if taken perfectly.  However, with typical use (the way most people take it in real life), it is about 91% effective.

How the progestogen-only pill works

The progestogen-only pill thickens the mucus at the cervix, making it harder for the sperm to move through it.  Some progestogen-only pills will also stop you ovulating (releasing an egg).


  • You can use it if you are not able to have a contraception containing oestrogen.
  • You can use it at any age or if you smoke.


  • You are likely to have a change in bleeding pattern: some people have no bleeding at all, and some people have spotting or more frequent bleeding.
  • It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections, so you may need to use condoms as well.
  • It is dependent on you remembering to take it every day to work properly.

Where you can get the progestogen-only pill 

More information

For more information visit NHS Choices – Progestogen-only pill